By: Marissa Alvarez, Student Writer

Oklahoma City Community College students have mixed feelings about the college offering mostly eight-week classes starting fall 2020, with some students in favor of the change while others are concerned about the school’s decision will hurt students.

Academic Affairs Vice President, Greg Gardner, told the Pioneer this year that the college is making the change based upon the successes of several colleges in Texas who offer mostly eight-week classes and have seen higher graduation numbers.

The college is making the change in hopes to “move the needle” to get more students to graduate and to keep students from dropping out, Gardner said. 

At first, students will only be allowed to take two classes per eight-week term Gardner said. 

Many students said they were aware of the upcoming change and approve of it, saying taking classes in eight-week terms would be a great way to gain credits faster.

“Honestly, I don’t mind them. I’m taking an eight-week course online right now and another one after this eight-week is over,” Liliana Ocampo, modern language-Spanish, said.

“[Eight-week classes are actually so much easier and faster than a regular 16-week course. I feel like it’s also better because the class is over before you know it and I feel like I learn more in a fast track course,” 

Cole Miller, chemical engineer, said he would like the change and would welcome it.

It would work with his schedule and make it easier for him to plan out other activities later on in the semester, Miller said. 

“Personally, I wouldn’t mind taking eight-week classes because I have a very short attention span,” Citlali Vazquez, journalism, said.

“So, like, with 16-week classes I usually struggle a little bit more because I start losing interest which is not good. So personally I do prefer eight-week classes,”

OCCC has been researching the idea of ways to increase student graduation and ways to keep students from dropping out Gardner said. 

Gardner said the college surveyed students who took classes in 2018 but did not re-enroll in 2019.

The survey showed that 60 percent of those who responded said life situations caused them to not be able to come back to school.

However not all students feel positive about the change. 

Other students feel it would be more difficult to succeed in an eight-week course. 

“I am like a slow-paced learner. So I don’t know if I could adapt to the faster pace classes,” Joyce Shau, business, said. 

Shau said when taking an eight-week class, she feels like she didn’t learn as much as she would taking a sixteen-week class. 

She said her experience with eight-week courses was bad because it went “super-fast.” 

Riley Johnson, computer science, said the college shouldn’t change to eight-week classes because it creates a more difficult workload for the students. 

Gardner said that the college is aware that students may decide to stop attending OCCC because of the change. 

Gardner also acknowledged that the college will likely be only one in the metro area to offer mostly eight-week courses. 

“I see it totally positive. I would not be moving in this direction if I thought there was a negative,” Gardner said.

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